When we are first born into the Kingdom of God and open our newly formed spiritual eyes, we begin to see what truth is, like the foundational love of God that we are purposed to love with, the eternal hope found in Jesus’ finished work that we cling to, and the awareness of real faith, the kind that moves mountains and transforms nations, that we long to walk in.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1Cor.13:13
As converts who simply believe, but are as yet undisciplined in the truth, these fundamental fibers, while obviously interconnected, seem little more than a few golden strands of wisdom which we try to apply to our lives like a salve. If we stop and settle here, that is all it will ever be, triage for a broken believer. This simplistic understanding of these truths, like milk for babies, are meant to be grown beyond. They prepare you for discipleship, the solid food of a maturing Christian. God’s plan isn’t to create a nursery of newborns, a collection of converts or a bevy of believers but to foster mature sons and daughters into His family who are able to step into the inheritance He has prepared for them.
In order to grow beyond our conversion and the basic understanding of the fundamentals of our faith and for our perceptions to truly change, we have to allow ourselves to be discipled by the Spirit. This only happens through intentional study, consistent focus, and letting go of ourselves. We can’t come to God with preconceptions about how this is going to work or what the result will be, that is for God to unfold and us to accept. We must remember, that in all things He works for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
Through discipleship, those fundamentals we first learned as newborns begin to take on dimension and substance. Something in us changes and no longer are we merely gathering knowledge of Kingdom principles and ideology because now our understanding has somehow changed how we perceive our potential, our place, and our purpose and it is becoming a part of who we are.
As our discipline deepens and we mature in His light, we come to realize that not only does God love us but He is love. We come to know faith as our steadfast trust in the goodness, faithfulness, and transformative power of love and we recognize hope as the constant anticipation that faith’s expectation will be fulfilled. We finally comprehend that the scarlet strand of love is both the source of faith’s confidence and the strength of hope’s resolve. Our growing maturity makes us vividly aware of how faith, hope, and love are interwoven to form the spiritual cord that binds together the Spirit of God, His disciple and the body of Christ.
“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecc. 4:12
In the light of this wisdom we see that this truth has become a part of us, not by what we know but by Who we have known. We begin to look beyond the momentary and beneath the surface, to peer behind the veil of our physical senses. We start reaching past our fleeting fickle feelings and the inadequate experience of our finite circumstances and truly trust in God for whom nothing is impossible and who alone makes something from nothing (Rom. 4:17; Luke 1:37). We finally begin to walk onto the water of this life in His intended purpose empowered and emboldened by His truth that no longer simply fills our mind but permeates our very being.
Now, with our house firmly anchored upon the rock, as mature disciples of Christ and progeny of the King, and inheritors of the promise we can finally reproduce after our kind. We can raise up children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ and disciple nations. Not as mere scholars of the word, teachers of principles, or professors of faith but as living breathing testaments of Gods faithfulness and love. We are no longer just preaching the gospel but we have become living oracles of it.
There is so much more to life with Christ than a list of dos and don’ts, religious mantras, and bible reading plans. We get to know Him, for Whom and through Whom we were created and we get to become like Him, we get to be interwoven with Him Who upholds all of creation. We get to be life not just suckle from it.
I hope by this article to encourage you to press on and press into Him and it is “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. 3:14-21